Librarians and the complexity of individual and organizational change: Case study findings of an emergent research library

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Issue Date
2009
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Authors
Gilstrap, Donald L.
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Donald L. Gilstrap (2009), Librarians and the complexity of individual and organizational change: Case study findings of an emergent research library, in Delmus E. Williams, James M. Nyce, Janine Golden (ed.) 28 (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Volume 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.1-58

Abstract

The purpose of this case study was to increase the knowledge base of how research librarians experience and cope with the turbulence of change within their library system. A library belonging to the Association of Research Libraries was selected for case study investigation. Seventeen librarians participated in on-site interviews, utilizing a protocol composed of a clustering technique and semi-structured interviewing. Instrumental case studies of each individual were then developed through a collective case method. The findings presented in this chapter include: the competing tensions between the physical and virtual environments, the speed of change, the search for professional meaning, and coping with the experiences of professional change. Analysis of the findings suggest: the emergence of a hypercritical state, the limiting nature of negative feedback, a complex systems framework for professional thinking, and coping in the hypercritical organization.

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